Police to probe NSW nursing home outbreak

 

 

A coronavirus outbreak in a Western Sydney aged-care home where a worker allegedly showed up six times while infectious has reached nine cases as it is revealed police could get involved.

Anglicare has confirmed the extent of the outbreak inside its Newmarch House facility near Penrith - five workers and four residents have now tested positive to the deadly virus, up from just one resident and one staff member on Tuesday morning.

Anglicare Newmarch House has confirmed nine cases of COVID-19. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Anglicare Newmarch House has confirmed nine cases of COVID-19. Picture: Jonathan Ng

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said police would look into the circumstances of the outbreak.

"We can't cast blame automatically, let's wait for the facts," she said. "What if the person did not know that they had it.

"If anything intentionally was done that's a huge issue and police will look into that."

Nine people – five workers and four residents have tested positive to COVID-19 at the Penrith aged care home.
Nine people – five workers and four residents have tested positive to COVID-19 at the Penrith aged care home.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Tuesday revealed a female health worker had attended six shifts at Newmarch House while infectious before testing positive in an incident which could have "disastrous consequences".

Anglicare chief executive Grant Millard told The Daily Telegraph the staff member was not displaying symptoms at work.

Anglicare chief executive Grant Millard told The Daily Telegraph the staff member was not displaying symptoms at work.
Anglicare chief executive Grant Millard told The Daily Telegraph the staff member was not displaying symptoms at work.

"The staff member did not disclose that they were ill, did not disclose that they had contact with any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, and did not display any symptoms during the period that they were at work," Mr Millard said.

In a statement Anglicare said the "situation might become subject to a police investigation under the NSW Public Health Order relating to COVID-19."

Matthew Fowler, whose father Lionel is in lockdown at the facility, said he was furious the worker had shown up while infectious.

"I'm already scared, I'm already having to contemplate my father's demise in the next fortnight," he said.

Louise Payne's mother Yvonne Vane, who turns 90 in July, resides in the wing where patients tested positive.

 

Anglicare Newmarch House a nursing home in Caddens where a nurse went to work for six days while feeling unwell and has since tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Anglicare Newmarch House a nursing home in Caddens where a nurse went to work for six days while feeling unwell and has since tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Ms Payne said the families of residents deserve answers.

"I don't understand why they weren't taking the temperatures of workers who entered the facility. Were they wearing protective gear? We want answers," she said.

Ms Payne said she called the centre on Tuesday to speak with staff, but no one would take her call. "We've found out things on the news, when we should be told first. It's time for them to be open and transparent," she said.

Ms Payne said she worried her mum would die alone. "I feel sick. I haven't slept. It's on my mind all the time. She's a beautiful person. It's just breaking my heart."

 

Originally published as Police to query western Sydney nursing home outbreak


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